Local News

Security Stepped Up at Festifall

Posted October 7, 2007 8:03 p.m. EDT
Updated October 7, 2007 11:57 p.m. EDT

— An estimated 10,000 people attended Festifall along Franklin Street on Sunday, and Chapel Hill town officials said they were well prepared for the crowd.

There were nearly 40 police officers patrolling this year's event. That breaks down to nearly 10 officers per block.

"Anytime you have a large number of citizens downtown in one area, there are a variety of safety concerns we want to keep in mind,” Capt. Chris Blue, Chapel Hill Police Department, said.

Festifall was created 35 years ago to celebrate the artistic community. Artists sell pottery, paintings, jewelry and wood-works at the event and musicians perform.

Officers patrolling Festifall checked for weapons and alcohol.

Past trouble with street festivals, such as last year's Apple Chill after-party, prompted the extra security measures.

Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy asked the Town Council to end the Apple Chill after three people were shot following the event.

The 34-year-old family-oriented spring event featured local and regional craftspeople and music on six stages.

At this year's Festifall, festival goer LaRunda Craig said she was happy to see someone looking out for her and her children.

"They need to come out and enjoy themselves instead of violence on the street,” Craig said.

A number of people WRAL talked with on Sunday said they really miss Apple Chill. The Chapel Hill Town Council said they are working on a replacement spring event.